MOTYO: Japan's Best!
After a thrilling and hectic week in Japan, and sampling the very best hospitality the world has to offer, I can finally concluded the trip as the highlight of all my holiday trips so far. I was fortunate enough to sample the legendary Park Hyatt Tokyo, the ever stylish Grand Hyatt Tokyo, and the best among all, the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo (MOTYO).
MOTYO is located at the heart of the pulsating Kanda commercial and financial district, an area adjacent to the Tokyo Station. MOTYO is the newest kid on the block, perched some 30 stories above the new 38 storey Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, which is designed by one of the world foremost architects, Cesar Pelli, who is most notably responsible for creating Malaysia’s pride and joy, Petronas Twin Towers. Despite its close proximity to Tokyo Station, -about 5 minutes by cab-, Kanda has not been an area of choice for stay, as it has been in dormancy in the hotel scene for quite sometime, until MO finally arrived on December 2005. This probably explained the difficulty that I had to deal with the cab driver, who spoke no English at all, and knew nothing about the Mandarin, or if there existed any hotel in Kanda area. I instructed him “Mandarin Hoteru, Mitsukoshi-mae”, to explain its proximity to the local landmark Mitsukoshi department store, which is adjacent to MOTYO; and also subway stations that bears its name, -Mitsukoshi-mae-, both served by the Hanzomon & Ginza Lines.
As the driver had little clue of the “hoteru”, I further hinted “Nihonbashi Mitsui Building”, of which he still yet to get the idea. It was only became handy to be an architect who has an extensive knowledge of buildings in major cities in the world, that I led him by pointing towards the MO building when we were very close to the area. It finally, however, brought me only to the kerb side of other office building, some 100 meters away from MO’s ground floor lobby. Imagine: a stranger leading the way to a taxi driver, it just didn’t make any sense. So remember these keywords: Nihonbashi (Japan’s first road), Mitsui Building, and Mitsukoshi. It’ll definitely get you near MO.
Airport Limousine buses pass the hotel on the way to Narita Airport, but I was told that MO is the first hotel for the pick-up, and there will be few more other stops, so the journey will be quite long and delayed. The fastest way through public transport to the Airport will be taking a cab to Tokyo station; and catch the punctual Narita Express (NEX) that comes at an hourly interval. I did the impossible task of rushing late to take the 11am NEX train with only 30 minutes and was still in the room just about to check out. After much running, some traffic delay inside the taxi, coins dropping at ticket counter, and much running again at the station, I finally made it inside NEX and off my way to the Airport.
Hands down the best in Tokyo: gracious, unobtrusive and first class. Everything is handled efficiently. Even my email correspondence inquiring of the many room types was handled accurately within 24 hour. Staff even apologized for my confusion of the room types!!.
Likewise, when a ground staff saw me dragging my luggage after being dumped by the taxi driver on the kerb side, he quickly came to the rescue, helping me with the luggage and led me straight to the lift that took me to the sky lobby on Level 38. The receptionists were very friendly and spoke fluent English. Check-in was swift and while there don’t forget to ask for local maps and transport timetables. A female staff then proceeded to escort me personally to my Mandarin Corner Room and straight away helping me with the luggage. Being a gentleman, I insisted to carry it myself midway in the hallway, as the thought of a woman bringing my luggage is simply wrong. Inside the room, she explained the plethora of the room amenities and gadgetry, which I have become familiar now, having stayed recently at the Landmark MO in Hong Kong that has similar setting. She was very gracious and wanted to make sure my stay to be the most pleasant one. She turned out to be the Duty Manager!.
Likewise, during my rush check-out time, I refused the offer of yet another female staff to take my luggage and stormed off to the lift. Within seconds, the Resident Manager ran and fetched me to offer help and joined me inside the lift until I finally got in my taxi. Staffs at the ground floor lobby bow whenever they saw me; I felt living like a king for one day.
Rooms arrangement are unique at MOTYO as all rooms are located beneath the sky lobby at level 37 -38; in comparison to the usual arrangement of, say, Grand Hyatt Shanghai, where the Sky Lobby is sandwiched midway between the office levels below and guest rooms above. Henceforth, whenever you want to leave the hotel from the room: you need to take a lift up to the Sky Lobby and then take a separate lift down to the Ground Floor Lobby. You will get use to it!.
MOTYO has 5 room types, including the Deluxe, Premier Deluxe, Mandarin Deluxe, Mandarin Corner and Premier Grand. Each has a generous space of 50m2, the largest anywhere in Japan, and Premier Grand has an even larger area at 60m2. The best room would have to be the ones facing the Imperial Palace ground and Mount Fuji, which in this case only available at Mandarin Deluxe and Premier Grand only. Others simply face Sumida River; expansive view of low rise Tokyo to the East and Tokyo Bay to the South East.
My 50m2 Mandarin Corner room has 270 degree breathtaking view of both Tokyo Bay and the river view from Level 36. What is unique with this room, and hence my persistent when booking it, is the wrap-around full height window on the corner bedroom and also the bathroom, resulting in a well-lit room during the day; and at night it is amazing to have a soak on the tub with the amazing Tokyo night scene. That said, the room is narrower than others, but longer with the addition of a central vestibule separating the bedroom/living area and the bathroom. It is beautifully decorated with soft hues in contemporary setting, fitted with a superlative High Definition 45 inch (yes, 45!) Panasonic Aquos directly fronting the bed with an impressive 50 channels, arranged as part of the stylish and user-friendly communication interface, which allows guests to check their bills, set a healing background music, select TV and radio channels, and also access to pay movies. There is even a DVD player with virtual surround sound system for convenience; and broadband internet was complimentary: what a luxury!. Both bedside console panels allows you to operate all electronic gadgetry in the room, including the dual-layer, electronically-operated curtains. Wardrobe is even stocked with yoga mats!
Although I was slightly disappointed with the narrowness of the room, it is still supremely comfortable, and at night you can have all windows opened and the whole night scene of Tokyo is presented to you like a giant wallpaper background.
The bathroom is luxuriously decorated with acres of quality marbles, beautiful frosted glass and expansive Tokyo view from the bath, which can be concealed by an electric timber shutter. Above the huge bathtub is another 20 inch LCD TV, which will then confuse you as to what to choose: the view or the movies?.
Another unique feature exclusive only at MOTYO is a pass-through box adjacent to the entry foyer, which allows uninterrupted delivery and handling of laundry, shoeshine, newspaper and other requests, so say good bye to a knock on the door screaming “Room Service”.
There are many dining establishment inside the hotel, including a French, Cantonese, Italian and an all day dining restaurants. There are also the popular Mandarin Lounge in loft setting; Mandarin Bar and a tea corner off the Cantonese restaurant. On the ground floor, just outside the hotel foyer is the elegantly decorated Mandarin Cake Shop which stocks fine chocolates, scrumptious breads and cakes and many yummy treats, all elegantly packed for takeaway.
Recreation facilities include spacious and well equipped gym and fitness center; and a luxury spa in an elegant and contemporary setting. A key feature to the spa will be the indoor swimming pool which has one side edgeless towards expansive Tokyo view. A visit to the spa will not be complete without a few minutes relaxing by the pool. Sadly, I did not pack any swimming trunk, and rest assured swimming in your undies will be quite a spectacle, especially in an establishment like this. So it’s a no no!.
MOTYO is spectacular, truly befitting of its tag as Japan’s most expensive, luxurious and exclusive hotel. Service was exemplary, which has been the hallmark of the Mandarin Oriental group. Accommodation is the most spacious anywhere in Japan and is supremely luxurious, yet comfortable. It is without doubt, the highlight of my hotel stay in Japan. Park Hyatt comes second, albeit with a much dramatic view from its room towards Shinjuku skyline.
Incredible service and excellent hotel
I accompanied my husband on his business trip to Tokyo. I stayed in Mandarin Oriental for 5 days and he stayed another 4 days for his business meetings. We are both very impressed by the immaculate service.Everything mentioned by all the reviewers was on the spot.He had stayed in Conrad, Grand Hyatt in Tokyo previously and said that MO is the best. I must raved about 1 incident here that impressed me enough to write a letter to the General manager .
We had asked the conceige to make a reservation on the "Romance car" train from Odayku rail to Hakone. The lady on duty had spent us a confirmation letter to our room to confirm the reservation. On the day of departure, we checked out and had left our letter in the luggage which was being stored by the bell captain. We went back to conceirge to get the letter and a different guy was on duty. He couldn't locate the reservation letter. Anyway , we left the hotel and rushed to Odakyu Rail located in Shinjuku station.It was peak hour in the morning and it took us more than 30 min to Shinjuku station.
After we got our tickets from Odakyu and was about to board the train. We saw Masuda san the guy who served us in MO.
My first thought was he was off duty and but he told us that he had
make a trip down to locate us when he found our reservation no. for the train. He was very apologetic and was worried that we got lost in Shinjuku station. He even gave us 2 bottles of warm Ocha for our train trip! We were blowed away by his incredible and excellent service that was way above our expectation.
Besides, excellent facilities and location, the top notch service of the staff was the key factor of being the one of the best hotel in Tokyo.
Utterly and totally wonderful
My wife and I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental on our way to and from Micronesia for 2 and then 3 nights. Where to begin? You step out of the taxi and into another world of the most perfect service imaginable. When you ask a question you don't just get the answer, you get a totally comprehensive compendium of information on the subject. When you ask the concierge to book a table at a restaurant you get the reservation confirmed in writing, a map to the location with directions and a note in Japanese for a taxi driver to get you there and back again. When we left at the end of our second stay the time elapsed from calling the front desk saying we were ready to check out to sitting on the airport bus with our luggage neatly stowed and a complementary bottle of water and a newspaper in our hands, including paying the bill, was 7 minutes! And at no stage did that feel rushed!
The decor and fittings are absolutely the best, the view from the 38th floor reception or from the enormous rooms is to die for and the pricing of everthing you normally feel ripped of over (minibar, phone, room service etc) is perfectly reasonable (or free in the case of wirless broadband).
I have yet to experience anything better!
High expectations were more than met...
Having read previous reviews, my expectations of the MO Tokyo were high. It did not disappoint.
On any measure this is an outstanding hotel: service is attentive and charming, without being cloying. All rooms are a good size, and extremely well-designed and appointed. Dining in all the restaurants (including the bar) was good value for the quality and presentation of the food – plus, breakfast is served in the west-facing restaurant from where, on clear days, the snow-clad cone of Mt Fuji is clearly visible. As one has come to expect of any MO hotel, all public areas are also very beautiful – reflecting both contemporary design and local Asian influences in details, material and fabrics. (A prominent Japanese fabric designer was involved in the design project).
Finally, in what is essentially a low-rise city the MO towers above local buildings – providing every room with jaw-dropping views across this extraordinary metropolis. This is used to great effect when being taken to your room for the first time in the evening; as you’re lead in, the window blind slowly goes up revealing a million lights of Tokyo stretching as far as you can see.
Throughout this hotel the details have been really thought about. For me, it’s these that turned a great stay into an unforgettable one.
I would return to this hotel in a heartbeat.
In a city as sliced and diced as Tokyo, it's indeed welcome to find a truly sublime respite in Nihombashi - manageable walk to Tokyo Station, Imperial Palace, Ginza, Otemachi.
Knowing how to compete and win in non-Japan Asia, London, NY, Miami and slected elsewhere, MO did its best to create the killer category in Tokyo.
The space, food quality, rooms are all at high quality design and achievement. Add Japanese pleasing manners and quality of high service among all the staff, and the formula is ideal. This place is special.
I stayed one night at the Tokyo Mandarin Oriental in transit to Malaysia. I had almost a 24-hour layover, so I wanted to experience a little of Tokyo. Also, none of the airport hotels looked too appealing. The Mandarin Oriental turned out to be an excellent alternative to a dreary airport hotels. One key point - - the staff all speak English which makes everything so much easier when you're exhausted and trying to check-in after a 14-hour flight!
The hotel is absolutely beautiful, immaculate, and has every thoughtful ammenity you could imagine. I got a rate of 54000 Yen which equates to about $445.00US (tax and service included) on the hotel's website. The rate also included complimentary internet connection which most hotels charge for. This is an excellent deal compared to similar hotels in the US. It's difficult to get a room at the MO in NYC for less that $700 per night. My room had a western view which looks out over the Tokyo skyline. On a clear day, you can see Mount Fuji. The room was very large with a gorgeous marble bath with separate shower, w/c, and huge soaking tub. I had a king size bed that was very comfortable - - expecially liked the pillows as they were large and very fluffy.
Breakfast was excellent with all the usual western breakfast items. The pastries were especially good. The restaurant is on the 38th floor with floor to ceiling windows. My table was right against the glass so the view during breakfast was excellent.
The fitness room was great with state-of-the art equipment and cordless headphones provided so you can listen to music or watch TV during your workout- - limited English stations. The fitness center is also on the 38th floor and all of the equipment is set up facing the windows so you have a beautiful view to enjoy while you sweat!
Arrival and checkout were flawless as was every interaction I had with staff. The service was flawless and everyone was so kind. In my opinion, this hotel is phenomenal - - highly recommended.
GROUND TRANSPORT TIP: It's very easy to take the Narita Express from the airport to Tokyo station and then to get a cab to the hotel. When you buy your ticket at the airport after clearing customs - get a ROUND TRIP as this will save you time on your trip back. The ticket will have the date and time of your train on it as well as your seat. Seating is by Car, row and seat. I was in Car 1 seat 7A. Get the hotel staff to translate your ticket for you. For your trip back to Narita, be sure you know which terminal your airline flies out of at Narita. American has just switched operations to terminal 2. You must know this ahead of time as there are two stops at the airport. There is excellent sinage which will direct you to the Narita Express platform. When you get to the platform at Tokyo station, there will be signs on the floor on the edge of the platform that indicate where your car will stop. The hotel is just a short ride from the station. The train takes about 55 minutes each way. Caution: allow plenty of time for your return trip to the airport. My train was about 45 minutes late on the way back. I had built in an extra hour so I was fine. You can also take a bus, which they call a limousine, but if you get stuck in traffic your journey could be very long indeed. It is a little tricky negotiating Tokyo station even though everything is signed in English, too. If you contact the hotel, they may be able to forward a map of the station or a link on the internet that has a map. I had a paper document that the hotel e-mailed me with the name and address of the hotel in Japanese - - important. Your cab driver will need this. If you need any help getting to the hotel, you can e-mail the hotel ahead of time. They are very helpful.
Don't stay anywhere else
I had only a little over 24 hours in Tokyo at the back end of a three week business trip. I stayed one night at the Mandarin but wished I could have stayed longer. Everything about the hotel is flawless - from the warm gracious greeting when you arrive, to the unbelievable views from the 38th floor check-in. Not to mention the gorgeously designed bedrooms and baths.
Make sure you fully utilize the concierge. They go above and beyond to help you explore Tokyo. As I mentioned I had very limited time. I spent about 20 minutes with the concierge desk mapping out what I would see - and feel that I was very well advised.
One highlight was going at 5 a.m. to watch the tuna auctions on the fish pier - I highly recommend this experience. Afterward you can have sushi for breakfast that will guaranteed be the freshest and best tasting sushi you have ever tasted!
Brilliant location, rooms, food and service
This is a really excellent hotel; newly built and beautifully designed with stunning views, the rooms are cleverly laid out and my favourite in Tokyo (not shabby from age like the Park Hyatt, not impractical like the Conrad, not fussy and old-fashioned like the Westin). The service is fantastic, maybe even a shade better than the other excellent Tokyo hotels. Food is good if not quite as good as the Conrad. Location is for me the best of the bunch. It's expensive but well worth it. My favourite Tokyo hotel right now. My only very minor complaint is the impractical lift-up-to-the-lobby and then separate lift-down-to-the-room, but then again many Tokyo hotels are guilty of similar.
This is probably one of the best hotels I've stayed at anywhere! It offers a great view, helpful staff and absolutely the best room and bathroom! The gym is also fantastic and also the best hotel gym I've seen anywhere! There is no doubt this is THE BEST hotel to stay at in Tokyo. There is probably only one thing I'd change: Japanese food on the room service menu. I stayed here when it was first opened so maybe they have changed it by now. The staff reall do go above and beyond to help you. I also wish there were more interesting restaurants around the hotel.